In line with the suit instituted against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC], the plaintiff, George Uboh Whistleblowers Network [GUWN] is seeking a total of 34 billion Naira as exemplary/ aggravated damages from the EFCC for the two states.
A breakdown of the sought reliefs shows that GUWN is seeking N15,000,000,000 billion for each state (Benue and Akwa Ibom).
The damages are exemplary/aggravated damage for the infringement of the Fundamental Human Rights of the good people of Benue and Akwa Ibom States as guaranteed by the Constitution of the FRN 1999 and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification Act).
Also, part of the reliefs sought is N2,000,000,000 billion award to each state for the invasion of their accounts hence violation of their rights to property and privacy.
This is coupled with the upheaval the people of the states went through during the pendency of the freeze, among other reliefs.
ElombahNews had reported that EFCC had removed the restrictions placed on bank accounts belonging to Benue, Akwa Ibom States which it had sanctioned a few days ago.
The decision to unfreeze the bank accounts followed serious petitions from various quarters asking for the head of EFCC’s Acting Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, and that the accounts be unfrozen with immediate effect.
Dr. Uboh has dragged the anti-graft agency to court for freezing bank accounts belonging to Benue and Akwa Ibom States.
In the underlying affidavit deposed to by the GUWN chairman, Uboh stated:
“Defendant’s unilateral, unfounded, illegal, unconstitutional and partisan freezing of bank accounts of state governments, including but not limited to Benue State and Akwa Ibom States, smirks of corruption and or undemocratic practices hence acts committed by an arm of government which has undermined the public interest”.
Further, the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike also called on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to sack the Acting EFCC Chairman for what he termed “overthrowing the Governments of Benue and Akwa Ibom States”.
Consequently, EFCC caved in to mounting pressures and swiftly unfroze the accounts.
Speaking with ElombahNews on the motive behind the suit as well as his reaction to the unfreezing of the accounts, the foremost whistleblower said amongst other things:
“De-freezing the accounts does not absolve the EFCC from being punished by the court.”
When his attention was called on the fact that the courts are on vacation and might not be disposed to accord the case the urgency it deserves, he said:
“Although the court is on vacation, however, I’m certain that because the matter borders on violation of human rights, the matter falls within the scope of cases that the vacation judge can hear urgently.”
See attached the Originating Summons: